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Don't quit yet on resolutions

OPINION

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January 13, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | RedEye

How has the new year treated you so far? If you're anything like me, you've already lapsed on the "2013 is MY year, guuurl!" mentality you surged in with. It happens, but we'll be OK, folks! Let's work through this together and get back to our resolutions. Now, I know different people respond to different kinds of motivation. Sometimes you like it soft and sometimes you need tough love. Hell, sometimes it's both. That said, I've distilled our winning strategy into two motivational categories: nice and mean. Pick the one that applies to you.

MEAN

You ought to be damned ashamed of yourself. The year is only two weeks old and you already threw in the towel, you Patagonia-clad pile of weakness. Awful! I want to come to your house and smack you, your cat and your ugly roommate.

What, does repeating empty phrases to feel better about the fact that you don't take responsibility for your own happiness get you off? I want to make a time machine for the sole purpose of going back in time to kick your grandpa in the mouth.

Here's how to beat 2013: Set ONE goal. One. Want to read a book that wasn't made for the purpose of titillating cougars? Set a specific date and head to the bookstore. Want to decrease the size of those two hams in your jeans? Write "I will decrease the size of my wagon by walking for 20 minutes four times a week because I'm one step removed from being 30 percent mashed potato."

GET IT DONE, CHUMP.

NICE

Life can be tough, right? After a hard day, have you ever just broken down and had a soft cry? I have. The gentle tears roll down your cheeks like wet boulders of frustration!

I want you to know that the key to being a better you this year comes down to one thing: metaphors. Embrace your goals with the passion of a dog chewing peanut butter. Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no one has ears. Live like you were dying before you were even born. Problems can surface when we get overzealous. Have you ever seen a baby throw a ball? It's the most beautiful thing ever. It takes time to build a habit that makes you better.

Do you want to shed some pounds? Get a fitness plan and make it make you happy. Release your inner champion and visualize your way to a greater plateau. Remember: You're already halfway to the best you that will ever exist.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman. erwilkins@tribune.com

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